The Talent Show Horror

Think about what you wanted to accomplish last week. Did you? What are the things that hold you back from doing everything you’d like to do?

There was always a talent show held at school. Every year of elementary, middle, and high school. The first one started in kindergarten or first grade I believe. Many kids would be in it and show off what they are supposedly good at (much of the singing and dancing lame but still applauded by the audience of eager parents and friends), while many others were either too afraid or didn’t think they had any talent worth showing. I was always one of the kids who would have been too afraid to go on stage and have hundreds of pairs of eyes staring at me while I tried to do whatever I chose as my ideal talent (singing always was the last thing on my mind). What talent did I really believe I possessed at seven years old? Nothing ever seemed to be apparent. I guess I could have performed as a mime because I was already so good at being quiet.

I never was in this kind of variety show that sort of acts like a test to see if you have any future in the entertainment business. And if you weren’t in it or at least tried, it seemed as if you were toast for any future consideration in plays or musicals because “no one knows what you’re good at” and will never be pushed to participate. Never the one to ever want to be the center of attention, it was usually me watching from a shadowy seat in the 40th or so row while someone would be belting out to a popular song of the day (in the late 90s it was “All Star”), doing absurd backflips, juggling, or some other talent that could only be God given in my opinion. I didn’t envy any talents I saw particularly good but just wished I could get over my fear of stage and actually show what I had within myself, whatever it was. But I was too shy and reserved. That was the hill I had to get over.

Then high school came and thoughts of having any talents worth showing to the public were about evaporated. I never believed I could actually sing (karaoke doesn’t count, please) and my dancing was okay but nothing special, just moving my legs around in an incoherent manner. Backflips, somersaults – if I ever tried those things I would probably break my neck.

One day in about eleventh grade though, I actually had the bold thought that I was going to be in the variety show and show off a talent that might actually make me the most popular person in the school. I had the craziest idea that I would choose a song, an appropriate, well liked one for the matter, and sing it with my greatest efforts, trying to finally prove I had a gift worth talking about. I even started preparing by singing in front of the mirror and while on long walks by myself, trying to project my perfect song voice.

But around the week before the “auditions” were to begin (could anybody just get in?), I panicked and came to my senses that it would be very embarrassing to try to sing or dance in front of everyone for the first time. It would have probably been okay when I was little when no one cared if you made a fool of yourself, but in this present time I felt even more pressure to be cool and not do anything stupid that would give others a bad impression of me.

guitarsSo, with the butterflies in my stomach, I’ll stick to singing in the shower where no one can hear me, and dancing with large crowds in the dark where everyone seems the same. I do have talents, yes, but they are not always apparent or visible to people. I believe I am a much better writer than I was years ago and am getting more seasoned with poetry. My photography skills have also gotten much sharper. But those aren’t things I could actually showcase on any talent show at school or on TV. I tried learning to play the guitar and piano but need so much more practice. Two guitars sit at home that have been played a lot, but I’m still no rock god.

 I guess what I’m trying to say here is we all have a special gift within us that doesn’t always have to be applauded for. Whatever it is you’ve got, make sure you embrace it and love it and don’t let others discourage your path to happiness and success with it. With a lot of hard work and practice, anything is possible.


In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Obstacle Course.”

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Remember My Name

The little light in the darkness, I’m running towards it, the excitement pulsing through my veins, finally able to see glory. The sound of a crowd cheering, roaring my name, growing from a faint whisper to a sound on the level of a jet engine. Crunch, crunch, crunch, the sound of the gravel goes as I run towards the bright spot. I want them to remember my name, to know who I am. Once I am out in the open, I will proclaim my status, will command them to praise and rejoice in my presence. The crowd is waiting for my arrival. I’m stumbling besides the tracks, my heart beating like a metronome, breath coming in short, painful gasps. Arms flailing, sweat drops rolling on my forehead. I push myself further on, fighting through the pain, until I reach the light, run straight through it, but what do I find? In the name of this post, I would call it blog heaven or blog nirvana, reaching viral fame for the first time.

Today the prompt has asked for us, in the event of viral fame, to write a post we’d like others to remember us byI have a lot of posts in my depository that could be worthy of immortal status, many of them you have never read yet. Many of them are photography related (which received the majority of the “likes” on this blog), some are attempts at poetry – long, short, rhyme, free-verse, haiku. The majority of my posts came from responding to the Daily Prompt, which I treat as the starting points for unleashing the full potential of this blog. I have to say I’ve come a long way since beginning this blog in 2013 on a desktop computer. It now runs faithfully from a Windows 8.1 Toshiba laptop that isn’t perfect but gets the job done. You are free to search through my archives in order to find some great posts I have published in the past, though don’t take them by face value, I was just getting started, hadn’t found my edge yet.

I made a bold attempt at playing Pac-Man today and beating all 256 levels. I think the highest level I’d gotten to in the past was ten. The hard thing about this classic 80s game is that the ghosts get faster and smarter after about the third level. Once the red ghost, Blinky, gets on your ass at around the twelfth level, you have no chance of escaping unless you get to one of the side tunnels in time. Well, the thing is, I’m playing an online version (it’s on pause right now) with the ability to save your progress and I’ve made it pretty far in the game, though I have no idea what level number I’m on, so I guess you can say I’m not really beating Pac-Man (I died about one hundred times), I’m taking advantage of a feature that dumbs down the integrity of the original game. Even with the save feature, I have to be careful not to save my progress and get what I call a “death trap” e.g saving while being cornered by two ghosts, unable to get out it when reloading. It would be neat to reach the final level (not sure if it would be the original ‘Kill Screen”) but I wouldn’t feel total elation because it would be an illegitimate win, one with a safety net down the whole time, and no one would recognize me anyway. But the sound of viral fame spreading like wildfire if I did, in fact, complete the original game on camera (along with getting the highest score possible) without the save feature would be warm, cheerful, and enthusiastic. A regular Billy Mitchell.

The name of this post being inspired by the promotional tagline for the final season of Breaking Bad, if my blog went viral, I would feel incredibly accomplished, amazingly joyful. But I wouldn’t just stop there and believe I was finished with my work because my blog had reached its ultimate goal. I would keep doing what I love, not changing just because of the pressure to continue to impress a much larger audience than before. Yes, there would be pressure to keep this thing up if I broke through the darkness and reached blog heaven, and the fear that I would eventually fall from the top of the mountain, which is inevitable, but it would still be a dream come true. To have people remember me by just one post is not enough. I want to be remembered for everything I’ve done, all the work I’ve accomplished to reach viral status. All of my collective works would be nothing without learning and relearning, reinventing myself everytime something starts to not work anymore. Is viral fame overrated? Perhaps. How long will you be relevant in the public’s eye before you eventually fade away, being replaced by the next best thing? How much work you do have to do to keep the fire burning? If my blog was in digital lights, I would feel well appreciated and thankful, but at the same time would know that no one stays at the top forever. I’ve never had anything of mine “break the Internet”, a term coined for Kim Kardashian’s nude photo shoot attempt at doing so, and even if I never get to have that honor, I would still feel happy with how much I’ve done, how much I’ve learned, and all the fun I’ve had participating in this worldwide wide activity we call blogging.


In Response to the Daily Prompt: For Posterity